Académie Ballet Instructor & Head of Elementary Division
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Kaori Mier started dancing ballet 13 years ago in her home town of Tokyo, Japan. Kaori’s introduction to ballet was the Kubo Akemi Ballet Studios where she danced in numerous recitals and trained in classical ballet for over five years. Kaori loved the classic art so much that when she moved to Little Rock Arkansas she immediately looked for a school to hone her skills even more. She danced with the McAfee Lorene Lloyd Ballet School. After dancing with them for more than 6 years she decided to start her own classes at the local youth center in Jacksonville Arkansas. Now she had found her knack. She loved to see the children grow into beautiful ballerinas. After returning to Japan she decided to try a new school, Kyoko Hara Ballet Studios to continue her love in the art of dancing. At this very same time she was starting her own classes at the local Air Force Base Youth Center. Kaori has taught children from the ages of 3 to 12 years old. She has enjoyed every minute of her classes and wishes to continue the passing down through the generations the art of classical ballet.
Académie Ballet Instructor, 3rd & 4th Grades
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Jeffrey began his dance training with the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut where he was born and raised. Upon his graduation, he began his classical ballet training at Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts also in Connecticut. He later joined Ballet Theater of Maryland where he danced roles in Alice in Wonderland, Romeo and Juliet, The Firebird, and The Nutcracker. Jeffrey also danced with Bowen McCauley dance, a neo classical company based in the Metro DC area, where he performed Lucy Bowen’s “Rite of Spring”.
While in Maryland, Jeffrey danced with Suzanne Farrell in George Balanchine’s Swan Lake and Jerome Robinson’s The Concert. In addition to an extensive repertoire, Jeffrey has received the Estelle Dennis Dance Award and Scholarship. Some of his other scholarships included Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory, The Joffrey Ballet, and Ballet Austin. This is Jeffrey’s second season with Northwest Florida Ballet and he is very excited to be performing and teaching.
Académie Ballet Instructor, 3rd & 4th Grades
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After graduating with a BSOF in Ballet and Biology, Edwards went on to join Nashville Ballet’s Second Company. While there, she performed in many children’s ballets including Carnival of the Animals, The Singing Tortoise, and The Emperor and the Nightingale. She also performed in their Nutcracker. After two years in Nashville, she moved to join the Northwest Florida Ballet as a third grade assistant, fourth grade teacher, and a Demi- Soloist for the company.
Académie Ballet Instructor, 5th Grade
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Académie Ballet Teacher Assistant, 3rd Grade
Académie & Pre-Professional Program Ballet Instructor
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Académie Assistant/Instructor, Elementary
Pre-Professional Program Ballet Instructor
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Ms. Lister received her early training at the Elvie DeMarko School in Pensacola, Florida. She continued her studies in New York at the Swoboda School, (later known as the Ballet Russe School), under the guiding hand of Madame Swoboda. Her other illustrious teachers included Frederic Franklin, Anatole Vilzak, Edward Caton, Boris Romanoff, William Dollar, Bill Griffith, Leon Danelian and Igor Schwezoff. She also attended New York University and Hunter College before joining the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo company.
She danced with the Ballet Russe for 5 years and worked with such renowned stars as Alicia Alonso, Maria Tallchief, Nina Novak, Alexandra Danilova, Igor Youskevitch, Frederick Franklin, Leon Danelian and Leonide Massine.
After leaving the Ballet Russe, she continued to pursue, develop and expand her talents, and made guest appearances with numerous Civic Ballet and Opera Companies. She performed many of the famous pas de deuxs from various ballets and such roles as The Firebird with the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony and the Hartford and New Haven Orchestras.
Her varied talents led her into musical theater where she performed on Broadway and Off-Broadway. She also appeared in summer and winter stock companies, Dinner Theaters and at the renowned Radio City Music Hall. She has worked in several theater positions advancing from the chorus of a musical to performing leading roles and to assisting directors and choreographers.
She began her teaching career at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For two years she was on staff at the Kingsboro College of the Performing Arts, a college dedicated to the training of boys and girls at the college level. She was invited to join the teaching staff of the American Ballet Center, the official school of the Robert Joffrey Ballet Company. For 25 years, she not only headed the Children’s Department, but also taught technique and variations classes to the advanced and trainee levels. She also found time to coach dancers for various jobs and competitions, and actors and actresses for dance roles in television and film work. In 1978 she was asked to return to Broadway to perform in Michael Bennett’s musical Ballroom.
She has students performing in all mediums of dance from classical ballet companies to Radio City to Broadway and television. She was responsible for rehearsing 65 children for the New York performances of the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker.
She considers correct training from the Beginner level to the Advanced level to be of the utmost importance and the teaching of children to be her forte. She developed a Pre-Ballet teaching syllabus that has been used at the Joffrey School for over 25 years. She is featured in two published books, Going to my First Ballet Class by Susan Kuklin and And they Danced On by Waltraud G.Karkar. She is the co-author of the book, Conversations with Choreographers, published in 1996.
In 1997 Dorothy moved back to her hometown and is presently the Ballet Mistress and teacher for the Northwest Florida Ballet Company and is the dance coach for the Tate High SchoolÕs Chaparrals and Cadets. She has choreographed musical shows (Fiddler on the Roof, Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific) for Tate High School. She continues to teach for the Joffrey School’s summer session. She was asked to be one of the prelimenary judges for the 1998 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1999, she taught Ballet master classes for PANOPLY, Huntsville’s Festival of the Arts, and served as one of the judges for their 17th Annual Choreography Competition.
Pre-Professional Program Modern/Jazz Instructor
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Kelly Murdock is currently a dance instructor at Northwest Florida Ballet and Northwest Florida State College. She has a B.A. from the University of Colorado and has danced with the Dayton Ballet and Northwest Florida Ballet.
Her past NWFSC choreographic credits include Dance Facets, Creative Dramatics, Soundsations, Summer Productions, and most recently choreographed NWFSC’s summer production of “Sister Act.” She has choreographed for Fort Walton Beach High School, Stagecrafters, and Force Jazz and Grain de Sables dance companies in France. Last summer, 2016, she attended a Graham Technique Workshop for Teachers in NYC. In addition to teaching and choreographing she also works for her sister, a local attorney.